No More Silent Screams

No More Silent Screams
Voices growing in number and volume
Antipodeans are getting tough
A Royal Commission into Catholic sexual abuse
Lies and excuses – we’ve heard enough
“The victims won’t want to testify” they say
When so many clearly do
“I wasn’t there – I didn’t know”
Obfuscations cram up in the queue
The Catholic Church wants to deal with this
“It’s best for the victims” they say
Meanwhile paperwork and priests go missing
While they possibly pray we’ll all go away
The movement of paedophile priests
On the chessboard of the Catholic Church
Demeans the suffering of raped children
Facilitates recidivism – leaves justice usurped
If the hierarchy have nothing to hide
Throw open all files on sexual abuse
Allow a Royal Commission to fully investigate
Victims are further abused by each petty excuse
We’d not allow the family of a rapist
To investigate and counsel victims of the rape
Yet people traumatised by priests of the Catholic Church
Are encouraged to allow church members to determine their fate
I was physically not sexually abused
Nonetheless I was emotionally damaged by the church
As this controversy continues
I’m constantly revisited by my aged hurt
I can’t begin to imagine
The suffering of those whose lives have been 
Traumatised on a daily basis
Life for many a long silent scream
It’s way past time for justice
For those who live daily with their abuse
Nothing less than a Royal Commission
There is no appropriate religious or political excuse
Tricia Bertram 12/11/2012

About triciabertram

I have written all my life. Writing helps me to make sense of a world I often don’t understand. Poetry is my supreme solace, closely followed by literature and music. When my son ended his life in 1999 I embarked on the most difficult journey of my life, my grief journey. To survive in this unknown, harsh landscape I had to write. It was for me, the only way I could even begin to move forward. Then in 2009 my darling husband died suddenly and so my journey continues. I write about other issues but because of my life experience, grief and death are continuing themes in my writing life. In our culture I believe there is a fear of death, an inability to accept the inevitability of our mortality, and this creates enormous difficulties for the bereaved and those around them. I have begun this blog in the hope I will create a small ripple in the pond of fear that is currently drowning the reality of death and grief. I will continue to skim the stones of my truth, watch them bounce, and see how many ripples I can make.

Posted on November 12, 2012, in Poems and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 17 Comments.

  1. Two hours after I posted the above poem our Prime Minister announced a Royal Commission into the sexual abuse of children in Australia. My poem had nothing to do with the Prime Minister’s announcement, but I signed petitions and emailed others to do likewise.
    Even though my words did not contribute, I feel a sense of satisfaction and self cleansing in the writing of them. I tried to make a difference.

  2. We have been dealing with the aftermath of this for years. I hope your government don’t do what ours did and make an indemnity deal which puts most of the restitution on the taxpayer and not the church.

    • Joe I find that thought a scary one. With the wealth the church has it’s a disgrace. And the mere thought of the word indemnity in relation to this issue sickens me.
      I want to see those who covered up the abuse punished. Did that happen at all in Ireland?
      Thanks for the feedback. I’ll get back to blog reading soon, I’ve just been a bit caught up in this issue.
      Take care me Irish mate

      • Not enough of them. The majority have died already. There have been some high-profile resignations but no prosecutions to my knowledge!

  3. Go for it. Keep telling it like it is! Your voice of truth is clear and LOUD!!!!!!!

  4. A poem from my Poetry Collection ‘damaged children Precious Gems’.

    no respect for authority

    policeman, preacher
    primary school teacher
    lessons and rules
    by the truckload

    policeman, preacher
    primary school teacher
    girls & boys get it
    by the fuck-load

    policeman, preacher
    primary school teacher
    big cocks seeking
    tight little holes

    policeman, preacher
    primary school teacher
    “it’s our little secret
    don’t tell a soul”

    policeman, preacher
    primary school teacher
    forty years on
    the secret is out

    policeman, preacher
    primary school teacher
    old age’ll get ‘em
    without a doubt

    policeman, preacher
    primary school teacher
    illusions of safety –
    now stripped bare

    policeman, preacher
    primary school teacher
    children deserve
    society’s care

    • Carolyn thank you so very much for sharing your poem. I’m so pleased the light of a Royal Commission is going to be shone on the darkness of abuse. And I hope those who covered up the abuse are also held responsible in some way.

  5. I feel so strongly for those of us who’ve had to deal with ‘adult’ themes when we were children. Please, let children be children!

  6. Very little has been done to “throw open all the files” in the United States. Individuals have sued, but only a very few have resulted in sending any priests to prison. A friend of mine, a lifelong Catholic with a commitment to the church, died a couple of years ago while waiting for the Church to do the right thing and take responsibility for harboring and abetting the offenders. It was so grievous to her, and it broke my heart to watch her slowly lose strength and to have lost faith in those she’d always respected. Your poem is so strong and it’s clear you have been a vocal advocate for the victims. I’m glad to hear of the Royal Commission. Interesting timing!

    • Debra i’m sorry to have taken so long to reply to your comment. I’ve been caught up in an online debate on this topic, and am rushing to finisher preparing for a writer’s workshop I’m presenting at a Melbourne Hospital next Thursday on expressive writing in chronic and life limiting illness.
      I’m so sorry to read of your friends experience. The heirarchy of the church have much to answer for. In Australia their is much denial about the true extent of the problem, and of course the cover-up continues.
      Hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving.
      Tricia xo

  7. This poem is stark and makes me shudder, particularly in the light of all the recent news over here in the UK about Jimmy Savile’s “capers” over the past forty years. Even the BBC to a certain extent are responsible for cover ups. And now it seems many more were incolved in the whole sordid story and some who are still alive will, thank God, get their come uppance.

    It has made our country as a whole, look back at the so called “swinging sixties” era in new light. Just looking at some of the wording of the pop songs they are appalling.

    Much love



    • Christine Paedophilia is a poison that permeates the world. It saddens me beyond words. I’m hoping those that covered up this atrocity are brought to justice.
      Take care my friend

  8. Wonderful poem Tricia – I am so happy that they are having a Royal Commission and way overdue – just shocking the stories that keep coming out and the cover-ups are pathetic – just hope people get locked up over this.

    • I agree wholeheartedly Gabe. I’ve been involved in an online debate on this topic all week, and the obfuscation, denial and justification are driving me burko. I’m gobsmacked that some are still making excuses. It makes the Royal Commission even more of an imperative.

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